Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 03, 2010

From: Bryant, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Turf
Title: Native replacement for middle school lawn in AR.
Answered by: Stephen Scace

QUESTION:

I'm doing a project to help out our green middle school replace the grass in front of the school with something that stays short but is also native to the region. Can you recommend one that I can use?

ANSWER:

Briefly, Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) may work wonderfully as a native turfgrass for your school's front lawn. Buffalograss is native to much of Arkansas, mostly as a short bunchgrass occupying sunny niches among the giant grasses of the Tall Grass Prairie that once dominated the Arkansas River valley. It thrives in well-drained loam, clay, caliche, or limestone, but it does not do well in sand. More important, buffalograss needs full sun; it cannot survive in shade. It will bear considerable traffic, but it probably would wear thin if used as a playground. It should be mowed at least once a year to keep the sod dense, but most folks mow once a month or so to maintain a tidy appearance. Buffalograss seed, sod, and sprigs are widely available, so there is some flexibility in when you plant and how long it will take to establish a lawn.

You might find our How-To article Native Lawns: Buffalograss helpful.

It occurs to Mr. Smarty Plants that planning and installing a native-grass lawn might constitute a year-long teachable moment at a green middle school.

 

 

 

More Turf Questions

Submerged paving under lawn
September 07, 2008 - I had 4 patches of rectangular areas (about 4'x6'or more) in my lawn where the grass is fine in spring but totally dies in summer. I decided to till these bare patches so that grass may grow better...
view the full question and answer

Is installing irrigation with Habiturf a good idea in Round Rock Texas?
December 05, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in the process of planning a new lawn in my front yard. We have decided to plant the Habiturf seed mix (thank you, by the way). Originally, we planned on installing a spri...
view the full question and answer

Will Thunder Turf do well in shade from Iola TX
June 23, 2010 - Will the Thunder Turf do well in shady areas or is there a better blend of native grasses that would thrive better?
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
view the full question and answer

Is it OK to recycle my kids bathwater out to the lawn?
July 23, 2009 - Is it OK for me to "recycle" my kids bathwater out to the lawn or houseplants? We use normal everyday brand kids soap. Thanks Mr. Smarty Plants
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.